Yesterday, she turned 89, but you'd never know that. She's still got that translucent Irish skin with nary a wrinkle. In that way, she reminds me of my dad who looked pretty great at 84 even after the ravages of illness.
She was the 9th of 10 children of Irish immigrant parents on a tiny farm in upstate NY. I doubt they knew if they could provide for another child; yet, she has outlived all of her siblings, including my dad. The ironic thing is that she left her apartment in Brooklyn to move next door to my dad, her baby brother, about 10 years ago so he could "take care" of her!
She never married and shared an apartment with her sisters after the farm was sold. While she says school was not her thing, I am pretty confident that my aunt is as smart as can be. She worked in a bank for many years and does a great job managing her finances, even now. When she asks me to research some financial plan, I am really researching!
She's also a major league movie and baseball buff and the queen of trivia. She is equally cconversant about Derek Jeter, Justin Beiber's antics and the religious preferences of political candidates. Her mind is as sharp as a tack thanks, I guess, to her daily crosswords, her vocation and avocation.
She is a fine, fine lady who never has a harsh word about anyone. While she too has seen a lot of sadness and her world turned upside down, she still greets each day ware of the potential that day will hold, even if it is just a great crossword puzzles and Doctor Oz.
My Aunt Gert is gentle, kind and accepting. She is a fine, fine lady. If I am lucky enough to grow old, I want to be like her.